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Mustangs claim B-1 title in rain soaked OT thriller

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 31 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Jubilant Medina/Lyndonvlle players celebrate their 2-1 double overtime victory over Newfane in the Section VI Class B-1 championship game this evening at Hamburg.

HAMBURG – The third time in overtime was the charm!

After losing and tying in overtime in two regular season encounters, Medina/Lyndonville outlasted Niagara-Orleans League foe Newfane 2-1 in a rain soaked double overtime thriller this evening to capture the Section VI Class B-1 championship for the second time in three years.

A goal by Brennen O’Connor with 3:04 remaining in the second 15 minute overtime period earned Medina/Lyndonville that elusive win over Newfane and the sectional championship.

“It feels like I’m in a dream. I’m in soccer heaven,” exclaimed a jubilant O’Connor seconds after his corner shot hooked high into the Newfane goal to end the marathon rain drenched contest.

“In sectional games it comes down to those kind of plays,” exclaimed a very happy Medina/Lyndonville coach Steve Luksch who of the wind driven rain that fell in sheets throughout beamed “This is soccer weather.”

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – Brennen O’Connor (9), who scored the game winning goal for Medina/Lyndonville, drives the ball up field against Newfane defender Andrew Kaszuba.

The victory propels Medina/Lyndonville into the Section VI Class B state qualifier game against another N-O foe, Akron, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamburg. Akron blanked Southwestern 2-0 in the Class B-2 title game.

Medina/Lyndonville got off to a lightning quick start when James Ianni scored on a header off a long free kick by O’Connor just 1:52 into the game.

However, despite having the advantage of the wind at their backs the Mustangs could not find the net again in the half.

Newfane controlled play for much of the last 12 minutes of the half, pressure that resulted in the tying goal scored by Brett Stern with 3:38 to go in the half.

The Panthers had the wind advantage in the second half but Mustangs goalie Adam Hoot along with his defense, which was anchored by Barry Rogenmoser, Hayden Allis and Evan Milleville, turned back almost constant pressure.

Hoot, who had to leave the game briefly after one collision in the goal area, made a couple of key stops and Alex Murphy, who came in when Hoot had to briefly leave the game, also made one big stop.

Allis and Rogenmoser likewise came back to make key clears and help keep Newfane from scoring again.

Newfane also had the wind advantage in the first overtime period but the Mustangs defense held firm highlighted by one big clear by Milleville.

Newfane did have one good shot just sail across the goal mouth and late in the period Medina/Lyndonville just missed off a free kick opportunity.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The rain which fell in torrents is clear here as James Ianni, who scored the Mustangs first goal, works to gain control of the ball against the Panthers Skyler Maurer.

Gaining the wind advantage again, Medina/Lyndonvlle put on good pressure in the second overtime.

The Mustangs though missed on three corner opportunities before O’Connor found the range on a well aimed shot which hooked into the net for the title winner with 3:38 remaining.

“It was just a great team effort,” said Luksch. “I’m just very proud of these guys.”

The Mustang also claimed their only other sectional championship on the Hamburg turf field nipping Tonawanda 1-0 in the 2011 tittle contest.

Medina now takes a 13-4-2 record into the overall B contest against Akron. The Mustangs split a pair of regular season meetings with the N-O champion Tigers.

Ironically Saturday’s game will also be a rematch of the 2011 Class B state qualifier which saw the Tigers defeat the Mustangs 4-0.

Photo by Cheryl Wertman – The Mustangs midfield duo of Anthony Pane (13) and Scott Barber (8) work against Maurer as the heavy rain falls.

Section VI Field Hockey

Top seeded Barker blanked No. 4 Holland 4-0 and No. 3 Eden upended No. 2 Akron 2-0 this evening in the semifinals of the Section VI Class C field hockey sectionals on the turf at Amherst High.

Melissa Grosshans, Olivia Denny, Madison Greenwald and Heather Mason took turns scoring the goals for Barker. Caitlyn Mason made four saves to earn the shut out in goal.